These pumpkin pie bars are an easy and crowd-pleasing twist on traditional pumpkin pie. They include everyone's favorite pumpkin pie filling with a buttery crust. We focused on a fun twist using gingersnaps in the crust with cozy flavors to perfectly complement the spices in the creamy pumpkin filling.
These pumpkin pie bars are a fun twist on a classic Thanksgiving recipe! The crust is made from crushed gingerbread and the bars are just like pumpkin pie and topped with pecans, caramel, ice cream and more!
Serve them chilled or at room temperature, making them a great make-ahead dessert for Turkey Day.
There isn't much I can say about these pumpkin pie bars that these pictures don't tell. They layers of crunchy crust, creamy filling, and a whipped cream topping make them the ideal fall treat. I've tested and retested this recipe 4 times now, and I can finally say I've nailed down the BEST EVER pumpkin pie bars.
My goal was to achieve a flavorful crust to carry the weight of a thick layer of pumpkin pie filling. After many attempts, we've finally landed on a recipe that delivers on all levels: looks, flavor, texture, and ease. You can count on this recipe to turn out perfectly when you make it for family and friends.
Looking for more pie? Try this gooey deep dish chocolate chip pie recipe next.
Why I Love This Easy Pumpkin Pie Bars Recipe
Taste: Imagine taking a bite of your favorite pumpkin pie at the same time as a gingersnap. Sweet and cinnamon-y and gingery-filled and SO GOOD. This is such a delicious recipe!
Texture: It's so smooth (like buttah) and just about melts in your mouth when you take a bite. The best part is the crunch from the gingersnap crust. And if you had pecans to the top it makes it even better.
Ease: You only need one bowl to make the crust and the filling. And you don't need a mixer either! A wooden spoon or whisk will do just fine. Skip the pie pan and finicky pie crust, but don't miss any of the flavor.
Appearance: This might be my favorite part! The layers of gingersnap crust and pumpkin are awesome but when you add the chopped pecans, caramel drizzle or even ice cream or whipped cream on top you're in pumpkin pie bars heaven.
I would make this recipe again and again. And I HIGHLY recommend it be a part of your Thanksgiving spread. It's essentially pumpkin pie in bar form and a fun addition of gingersnap in the crust. If you can get some caramel sauce (I just get the ice cream topping) you can do that with whipped cream and everyone will love it, pinky promise.
Grab These Ingredients
Here are the simple ingredients for this pumpkin pie recipe. Most are pantry staples and easy (and affordable) to find in grocery stores. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
- Pumpkin puree: this is 100% pure pumpkin in a can (not pumpkin pie mix). You can buy it or use homemade pumpkin puree.
- Sugar: use both granulated sugar and brown sugar in the crust and/or filling. You could swap the brown sugar for coconut sugar.
- All Purpose Flour: just a bit for the crust. Use gluten-free if needed.
- Butter: this adds richness and flavor to the crust and helps it bind together. You can also use coconut oil.
- Pumpkin pie spice: keep this spice blend on hand for all your pumpkin recipes. See recipe notes to make your own with individual spices.
- Half and half: it's a little bit lighter than heavy cream. Although you can use heavy cream or evaporated milk as a swap.
- Vanilla extract and salt: for flavor enhancers.
- Cornstarch: This helps thicken and set the pumpkin pie filling.
- Eggs: add structure and hold the filling together.
How to Make Pumpkin Pie Bars
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through the steps with some photos and a video. These pumpkin pie bars are really easy and these step-by-step instructions will make sure they turn out every time.
Crush the gingersnaps: use a food processor or high-speed blender to crush them finely. Crushing them by hand will work, but you'll need to put in some elbow grease to get small pieces. You could swap this for graham crackers to make a graham cracker crust.
Make the crust: add the crust ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Transfer it to a parchment-lined baking pan. Use the back of a spatula to press the crust down firmly into an even layer in the bottom and along the edges of the pan. Bake for 12 minutes at 350°F.
Make the filling: whisk the filling ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until smooth and combined.
Bake: pour the filling into he baking dish and bake for another 50-55 minutes, until the center is set.
Serve: cool the bars completely before removing them from the pan and slicing them into squares.
Pro-tip for cutting pumpkin bars: Run a large, sharp knife under hot water and wipe it with a paper towel. Slice down neatly in one motion, pushing firmly to get through the crust. Rinse under water and dry it between each cut for smooth, clean lines.
Gluten-free pumpkin pie bars: we've tested this recipe with Bob's Red Mill gluten-free baking flour and it was delicious. The filling is naturally gluten-free!
Dairy-free: use vegan butter or coconut oil in the crust. Although we haven't tried it, you could try cashew cream in the filling instead of half and half.
Shortbread crust: use any shortbread crust online instead of gingersnap, like the crust in our gluten-free lemon bars.
Wrap the bars tightly in plastic wrap or close in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 1 week.
To freeze, cut he bars into squares and freeze until solid on a baking sheet. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in he fridge and serve chilled or leave them out for a few hours and store at serve them at room temperature.
Making ahead for Thanksgiving: make them up to one week ahead and store them in the fridge or follow the freezer directions above to make them up to 3 months in advance.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
Pumpkin Pie Bars with Gingersnap Crust
- 10-12 ounces Gingersnap cookies (should yield approximately 2 cups crushed) (Note 1)
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (31g) all-purpose flour gluten-free if needed
- ½ cup (1 stick; 113g) unsalted butter melted
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup (213g) light brown sugar packed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice storebought or homemade (Note 2)
- 1 ⅓ cups (315ml) half and half heavy cream works too
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- Chopped pecans, homemade whipped cream (Note 3), cinnamon sugar, and/or vanilla ice cream for serving
- 1 9x9-inch square metal baking pan (Note 5)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x9 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to easily remove the bars from the pan.
- Add the gingersnaps to the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse in 2-3 second increments until the cookies are broken down and resemble the texture of wet sand.
- Measure out 2 cups of the cookies and transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the granulated sugar, flour, and melted butter. Stir until completely combined using a rubber spatula. Transfer the crust mixture to the prepared pan. Pre-bake the crust in the preheated oven for 12 minutes.
- While it’s baking, make the filling. Add all of the pumpkin filling ingredients to a large bowl and whisk well until it’s completely combined and all of the yellow streaks from the eggs no longer remain.
- Pour the batter over the partially baked crust. Carefully transfer it back to the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the edges and middle are set. It should no longer jiggle in the center if you nudge the side of the pan. Cover the pumpkin pie bars with foil if the edges and tops are looking to brown before the center is completely baked.
- Allow the bars to cool completely then remove them from the pan and cut them into squares (Note 4). Cover the bars in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to one week. Serve chilled or at room temperature.